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French Institute: Félix Gatineau Collection

Félix Gatineau Collection [1835-1929]


Creator: Félix Gatineau (1857-1927)

Abstract: Papers of Félix Gatineau, including newspaper clippings, diaries, correspondence, programs from Franco-American gatherings, and photos. Language: French and English Extent: (measures need to be taken) 2 boxes and 43 vol. stored separately.

Access: Materials are available to researchers without restriction.

Separated Material: Diaries, 43 vol.

Source: Donation, Fr. Wilfrid Dufault

Preferred Citation: Félix Gatineau Papers, French Institute, Assumption University.

Scope & Content: This collection consists of a variety of documents that concern the social and political life of the Franco-American group not only in Southbridge, but all over New England and in the Mid-West. Gatineau travelled extensively participating a great number of Franco American gatherings. There is a great number of pamphlets and programs from these gatherings as well as correspondence be tween Gatineau and the Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste.

Biographical Note: Félix Gatineau was born November 12, 1857 in Sainte-Victoire-de-Sorel. At the age of 20, he immigrated to Southbrige, Massachusetts as did many other residents of the Lower Richelieu Valley such as the Harpin, Sansoucy, and Hus Lemoine families. He first worked in the Hamilton cotton factory, but was quickly hired at the local grocery store and pharmacy. He later opened his own grocery store with Joseph Proulx. He eventually sold it however to play a more crucial role in the social and political life of the Franco-American community. He was President of the Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste (USJB) and later ran their Caisse des vieillards. And he was a founding member of the Société Historique des Franco-Américains. Gatineau was not only involved in Franco-American affairs however. An ardent supporter of veterans rights, he was elected a number of times as a republican state representative (1906, 1920, 1921, and 1926). He married Odile Giard on Juin 20, 1882. Gatineau died December 31, 1927, at statue was built in his honor in Southbridge by the USJB. It was later moved in 2002 at which moment Claire Quintal, founding director emerita of the French Institute, made a speech honoring his legacy. Apart from these archives, Gatineau wrote two books concerning Franco-Americans : Histoire des Franco-Américains de Southbridge, Massachusetts (1919) and Historique des Conventions générales des Canadiens-Français aux États-Unis (1927).

Series Outline: The  records of the Félix Gatineau Collection are organized into eight series:

Series 1. Biographical Documents Series

Series 2. Correspondence Series

Series 3. Genealogy Series

Series 4. Southbridge Series

Series 5. Franco-American Gatherings Series

Series 6. Photo Series

Series 7. Volumes & Ephemera Series

Series 8. Diaries (Stored Separately)


Full Finding Aid: 

Photographs from the Collection

Campaign poster for election bid for RepresentativCampaign poster for election bid for Representative, 1926.

Vote for Félix Gatineau, 1926

Parade float  entitled

Parade float depicting a "Canadian Family Arriving in Southbridge in 1832."

List of names of individuals on parade float entitled

List of names of individuals on parade float - "Canadian Family Arriving in Southbridge in 1832."

Car front resized

Car front resized

Car reverse resized

Car reverse resized

Félix Gatineau standing behind the counter in his shop.

Le magazin de Félix Gatineau

Photograph of Felix Gatineau and his cousin in Gatineau's store, undated. Image taken by Rev. J. A. Fredette.

Reverse side of photo of Félix Gatineau standing behind the counter in his shop.

Le magazine de Félix Gatineau. Reverse.

Group portrait of the Gatineau Family.

La Famille Gatineau, late 19th century.

Cabinet card of the Gatineau Family, late 19th century. People included are: Clement Begin, Félix's sisters Graziella and Marie Ange Gatineau, Joseph Gatineau and his wife Mme Marie (Desrosiers) Gatineau, Félix Gatineau, Victor Gatineau and his wife Mme Marie (Théroux) Gatineau, and Sergius Gatineau. Image taken at the studio of Bourassa & Beauregard, St. Hyacinthe, P.Q.

Reverse side of Gatineau family portrait, naming those pictured.

La Famille Gatineau, late 19th century. Reverse.

Flag float front

Flag float front

Ladies float front

Ladies float front

Ladies float reverse

Ladies float reverse

Navy outfit front

Félix and Robert Gatineau, 1923

Navy outfit reverse

Félix and Robert Gatineau, 1923. Reverse

Oxen front

Oxen front

Oxen reverse

Oxen reverse

Paul Revere front

Paul Revere at Southbridge, Mass.,, April 19, 1896.

Photograph of Félix Gatineau dressed as Paul Revere for Patriot's Day, April 19, 1896. Image taken by Solomon Labonte, of Southbridge, Mass.

SSJB float front

SSJB float front

SSJB float reverse

SSJB float reverse

Hours and Contact

8:30 am 4:30 pm

Appointments recommended.

The French Institute follows the academic calendar of Assumption University. Exceptions to our regular hours may be found here.



The Institute is now located on the 3rd floor of La Maison Française.



Leslie Choquette
Director of the French Institute
Professor of History

Usage Policy

For reasons of preservation, French Institute collection materials do not circulate; however, non-rare materials are allowed to circulate through the d’Alzon Library or inter-library loan with the director’s permission.

It should be noted that the Institute’s collection includes a number of Franco-American newspapers from the New England region. Most consist of bound copies and nearly all have been microfilmed. To preserve the bound volumes, the Institute encourages scholars to consult the microfilm copies whenever they are available, for example, at the American Antiquarian Society or the Boston Public Library.